John Cummins gives his address at the BC Conservatives AGM

Cummins not surprised at Van Dongen departure

"If it hadn't been today, it would have been in the coming weeks," said John Cummins.

John Cummins wasn’t surprised that the BC Conservative Party’s lone MLA, former Liberal John Van Dongen, left the party following the decision by 71 per cent of voting members not to review Cummins’ leadership.

“If it hadn’t been today, it would have been in the coming weeks,” Cummins told The Times Saturday afternoon, as the party’s annual general meeting wrapped up at Langley Events Centre.

“Mr. Van Dongen hasn’t been happy with the state of affairs. He hadn’t endorsed my leadership. He had trouble working with the leadership of the BC Liberals, and now with the BC Conservatives.”

Van Dongen outlines reasons for split – see separate story

Despite the Van Dongen split, which attracted a great deal of media attention, Cummins feels the party is on a steady course towards the provincial election in May, 2013. He said the new board, which will be headed by Cummins’ supporter Al Siebring, a North Cowichan councillor, will work closely with members to prepare to contest elections in seats across the province.

The party has organized constituency associations in most B.C. ridings and has an active presence in many communities. It is setting up a provincial office in Langley City and Cummins said the new, smaller board will be a more cohesive group that will focus on the election.

Ever the optimist, he said the Conservatives, who barely registered in polling two years ago, can win government in the next election.

“In this business, you don’t aim for second,” the former Conservative MP for Delta said. “We are aiming for first place.”

Seibring is happy with the new board elected by the delegates. Most were part of his A Team group that backed Cummins’ leadership. He said group initially came together to have an effective board, but publicly came out to back Cummins after a group of dissidents within the party, who ran a slate known as the Friends of the BC Conservatives, made it their aim to have a leadership review.

“We will now need to build capacity in the party, build organizational charts and prepare for the campaign,” he said.

Siebring was also pleased with the results of the leadership review vote, pointing out that 1,104 of about 3,000 members voted. He sees the endorsement as being even higher than 71 per cent, saying often those who don’t vote are satisfied with the status quo.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey’s rink reopening plan forces skaters elsewhere, councillor says

Several private rinks are already open across Metro Vancouver

South Surrey man to bike across Canada

Last minute decision to take Rajiv Dhaliwal on three-month journey

COVID-19: Update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 13: Emergency wage-subsidy extended, B.C. Indigenous bands say their borders will remain closed

White Rock names second deputy fire chief

Ken Molland started with White Rock Fire Rescue in 1992

White Rock RCMP reviews street checks for racial bias

Report indicates checks are being conducted bias-free

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Abbotsford shooting victim named by IHIT

Investigators are seeking dash cam footage, information from locals regarding Friday’s death

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Most Read